Education Update: Diversity and Inclusiveness in the School Community

Recently, I completed a piece for ASCD’s Education Update newsletter. The piece was a challenge because it was about creating a more inclusive school community in an effort to support diverse families. Diverse could mean anything from families with a single parent, no parents or gay and lesbian parents. Given the current social and political climate of America, we wanted to create a piece that wouldn’t cause divisiveness amongst members upon viewing the image, but draw them into the article with an open mind and willingness to understand.

Because we are talking about education and inclusiveness, I thought that a school of diverse fish would be the perfect metaphor. The first image is the first version that I made. The editor thought that the dark water and barracuda made the environment look a little murky, like scummy pond water. So I brightened up the color palette (which is limited for the sake of branding the newsletter), took the barracuda out and gave the fish some partial smiles. The second image is the end result, which I may actually turn into a print.

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Port Tobacco Players presents The Dixie Swim Club

Here is my latest poster design for Port Tobacco Players’ production of the Dixie Swim Club.

The Dixie Swim Club is a play about five Southern women, whose friendships began many years ago on their college swim team. In the play, they set aside a long weekend every August to recharge those relationships.

Previous poster designs for this play usually show the women from behind, embracing with kooky beach hats and standing in the sand or on the beach. I wanted to do something a little different and focus on what brought them together in the first place: the swimming pool. I instantly thought of a composition that would have the women swimming close together, creating a close bond compositionally with their positioning, curves and bright colors uniting them. It was my first idea and the only one I finalized. I wanted the title treatment, which is hand lettered, to feel as if it were floating or distorted by being in the water.

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Winter is here to stay and I’m wishing for summer again

This week I began working on another poster for the Port Tobacco Players, in La Plata, MD. The poster will be for their upcoming production of The Dixie Swim Club which chronicles the lives of five close friends who met on a college swim team. Drawing pool water was a first for me and all I could think about while drawing it was how much I really hate winter (except for the holidays).

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This week’s work

This week, I posted three new pieces that I’ve been working on over the past couple of weeks.

My first piece is for R&B group, KING. Three beautiful ladies with beautiful harmonies asked me to create the single art for their upcoming single “Mister Chameleon.” The artwork blends my love for florals and pattern/textile design and the group’s request to keep it colorful (my forte), with the mysteriousness of the man in the song. Check out the 6 second preview of the song below and look at my previous post for the full artwork.

The second piece is for the Baltimore City Paper’s review of the classic Jean-Luc Godard film, Alphaville. This project was fun for a variety of reasons, the main reason being that it was for the City Paper, my former place of employment for nearly seven years. This is my first piece for them since leaving at the end of 2011.

The third piece is dear to me because it was completed for a Charles County, Maryland theater, Port Tobacco Players (local to me). This is my third (and favorite) poster that I have done for them to date. The poster that I designed and illustrated is for Godspell. Godspell is a musical based upon the gospel according to St. Matthew. If you look at images of St. Matthew as depicted by artists and sculptors of the past, he is usually seen holding the gospel with a big beard. Seeing as how beards have made a comeback and Godspell is known for its modern interpretations of the gospel, I thought it would be cool to have a hipster-like St. Matthew on the poster. The tattoos on his arms include lyrics from the musical, except for the tattoo on the far left which references the lyric “We plow the fields and scatter the good seed on the land…” from the song “All Good Gifts.”

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